by SS Sat Daya Singh, Los Angeles CA
In the months before and after conception, most soon-to-be parents read books and study teachings on how to raise children. They often think: “My parents did so-and-so negative thing to me. I would never do that to my child.”
Fast forward: Several months/years of sleeplessness have burned off that perfect parenting ambition. Chances are that the little Aquarian being is a great deal smarter and more sophisticated than the parent and that child is experimenting with pushing the limits. When the child deliberately spills his dinner on the floor or shows no signs of going to sleep at 11:45 p.m., a parent can snap.
But as the Siri Singh Sahib taught us, Ministers of Sikh Dharma must not snap. They must stay neutral in the most violent of storms. The key to not snapping? Sadhana. No matter what, parents must maintain some sort of practice during those early years of the child’s life.
My wife Akal Kaur and I have two boys. Meherpal Singh is almost three. Amar Prakash Singh is eight months old. Akal Kaur is a post-natal nurse. She works nights and she just returned from maternity leave.
Our practice does not resemble that idyllic sadhana of gently waking at 3:15 a.m. after seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, taking a cold shower, doing a yoga set, chanting, Gurdwara. We have come to terms with the fact that our sadhana will be different for the next few years.
We have become accustomed to changing a dirty diaper midway through the Kriya for Elevation. We are okay with toddlers sitting on our legs in Sat Kriya while they color.
We have tried to find little moments for our practice. The kids are taking a five or ten minute post-lunch nap? We find a three-minute meditation to do. We try to bring energy wherever we can. We have iPods playing mantras in our apartment and we intersperse Sesame Street episodes with Yogi Bhajan lectures from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings.
We have also found that it is important to attend group Kundalini Yoga classes. Each of us goes once a week while the other cares for the boys. All this has helped us gain the energy to stay strong and not fall into negative anger patterns.
Hopefully, we are examples to our children. Maybe our commitment shows them that Kundalini practitioners maintain their practice no matter what comes their way. Raising a child has committed us even more deeply to our sadhana. And it has demanded that we perfect our compassion, a very basic core of the Sikh Dharma Minister identity.
Doing Sadhana with Children (3HO) – from Beads of Truth, June 1974
About the Author
SS Sat Daya Singh is an ordained Minister. He is married to Akal Kaur, a post-natal nurse, and has two sons. He helps coordinate White Tantric Yoga in Los Angeles, as well as at 3HO Summer and Winter Solstice. He has also coordinated the Los Angeles Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar for several years, as well as at 3HO Solstice.